Friday, May 1, 2009

The Sting

Evening September 6th
A red hot needle stuck into my arm. That's what it felt like when the wasp stung me this afternoon. I was sitting in the porch swing reading a book for school and I felt this sudden burning pain. I went into the house and luckily I found Dad in the kitchen, making himself a snack.

"Something stung me," I said.

Dad looked at my arm and nodded. "More than likely a mud dauber. No stinger, though. It must have just bit you instead of stinging."

"What's a mud dauber?" I asked. "Are they poisonous?"

"A kind of wasp. They get their name because they build their nests out of mud." Dad pulled the orange box of baking soda out of the cabinet and put a spoonful in a tea cup. He spit into the cup a few times then stirred. He took a pack of cigarettes from his shirt pocket and broke one open into the paste.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"Tobacco'll help draw the venom out of it." He spread the ugly paste onto the bite and tied a dishtowel around it. "Keep this on it for three or four hours."

I sat down at the table. "How long before the pain goes away."

"It'll take a few minutes to start working. Want something to drink?"

"Just water." I was feeling a little queasy.

By the time Dad set the water in front of me, the pain had dulled some. "I think it's working."

"Good." He sat across the table from me and started eating his sandwich.

"How did you know about the paste?" I asked.

"Believe me, I had my fair share of wasp stings and every other kind of sting when I was growing up."

Just then Mom came in the room. She looked angry and nervous at the same time. She put the bullet I'd pulled from the woman's skull in the center of the table. "Either of you care to explain where this came from?"

Dad picked it up and examined it. "Never seen it before in my life."

"It's mine," I confessed. "I found it and put it in my pocket."

"Where did you find it?" Mom asked. "You've been at that house again, haven't you? I told you terrorists used to live there."

"You know how many bullets there probably are in those woods, Julie? Remember, people used to hunt here back before they built the safety net."

"Don't you cover for her. Amanda, where did you get this?"

"Dad's right. I just found it in the woods." I hoped she wouldn't be able to tell I was lying. I think it worked because the next thing she noticed was the dishtowel around my arm.

"What did you do to your arm?"

"Wasp sting," I said. "Dad took care of it."

"It doesn't hurt anymore, does it?" he asked.

"Not a bit," I said.

"A little baking soda and tobacco does the trick every time," Dad smiled.
Mom just rolled her eyes.

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